Vonn gets record victory

Lindsey Vonn won a super-G Monday for her record 63rd World Cup victory. The American broke Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 35-year-old record of 62 World Cup wins with a flawless run down the Olympia delle Tofane course, finishing by a huge 0.85 ahead of Anna Fenninger of Austria.

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein was third, 0.92 back.

Vonn tied the record of 62 victories when she won a downhill here Sunday, and celebrated with family members who rarely attend her races, including her once-estranged father.

“I didn’t think this could get any better than yesterday with my entire family here,” said Vonn. “I said, ‘I can’t believe they came.’

Vonn and company went on celebrating, wearing T-shirts that said “63 victories” and “Make History LV63.”

It was a big relief for Vonn after facing intense media pressure to match Moser-Proell in recent weeks.

“I know it’s a big achievement,” Vonn said. “But I have to focus on the skiing. I can’t let everyone else’s expectations get into my head. So that was my goal this weekend, just trying to ski my best. And I thought I did a really good job.”

Moser-Proell, an Austrian great, established her record between 1970 and 1980.

“Moser-Proell was skiing in the 70s and all the young people in Austria don’t know what that record means,” Fenninger said. “For the newer generation it’s very important that Lindsey make history. … It’s time to have a new record. She’s very important for us, because in America she’s a real superstar.”

Swedish standout Ingemar Stenmark holds the men’s record of 86 wins.

Breathing heavily and gritting her teeth in the start house, Vonn attacked all the way down and increased her lead at every checkpoint to win by a large margin.

Vonn was relatively subdued in her celebration, having said that win No. 62 was more important to her.

She was the last of the favourites to come down and flashed a big smile upon reaching the finish before doing a slight fist pump.

“I was definitely pushing the limits the whole way down,” Vonn said. “Sometimes I was a little bit out of control but I maintained the speed, especially on the bottom of the course. I’m so happy to have finished the weekend with win No. 63. My family is here. It’s a really, really special day.”

It was Vonn’s first win in super-G this season and her fourth overall this campaign, showing a return to top form after two knee injuries kept her out of last year’s Sochi Olympics.

Perhaps more importantly, the win showed Vonn is dominating again just weeks before her home world championships in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Vonn was on track to shatter Moser-Proell’s record two years ago before a high-speed crash at the 2013 world championships in Schladming, Austria, when she tore two ligaments in her right knee. She attempted to return for Sochi but re-injured her knee in Val d’Isere, France, in December, 2013, requiring a second surgery.

The 30-year-old Vonn is planning to compete through the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

It was Vonn’s ninth career win in Cortina, where she had her first career podium result in 2004, putting her within one of Austrian Renate Goetschl’s record 10 wins in the resort known as the Queen of the Dolomites.

This race was originally scheduled for Sunday but was postponed due to heavy snowfall over the weekend, which pushed the program back.

Downhill world champion Marion Rolland injured both knees in a crash, the French ski federation said, adding that she was undergoing medical exams.

Vonn was heading to Salzburg, Austria, to appear on a TV show and more celebrations. Woods was heading home immediately, according to Vonn.


PHOTOGRAPHY: Michel Painchaud